12 Feb Patagonia’s innovative nonprofit made a $5.2 million donation to preserve ‘America’s Amazon’
Patagonia’s Holdfast Collective, an innovative nonprofit that uses the clothing company’s profits to support climate-focused philanthropy efforts, just made its largest gift to date: a $5.2 million grant to the Nature Conservancy in Alabama.
The gift allows the Nature Conservancy (TNC) to protect a nearly 8,000-acre area of land in Clarke County, Alabama, where the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers meet. Known as the Mobile Delta’s “Land Between the Rivers,” this region is the second-largest intact delta system in North America (behind the Mississippi River Delta), making it a hotbed for biodiversity and home to the “greatest number of freshwater species in the U.S.,” according to the nonprofit.
The 8,000-acre tract is “the largest remaining block of land that we can protect in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta,” TNC in Alabama state director Mitch Reid said in a statement. “Protecting this unique and foundational habitat will benefit the people and wildlife who make their homes in Alabama and throughout the southeastern U.S.”
Patagonia launched the Holdfast Collective in September 2022 with the announcement that Earth would be the company’s only shareholder. Founder Yvon Chouinard and his family had transferred the company’s voting stock to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, and the other 98% of its ownership to the Holdfast Collective. It’s mission is to preserve wildlands, pursue nature-based climate solutions, fund grassroots environmental organizations, and support politicians working to fight the climate crisis, using profits that aren’t reinvested back into Patagonia’s business.
Since that announcement, the Holdfast Collective has distributed $71 million of Patagonia profits, supporting projects to block a proposed mine in Alaska, to keep a California law in place to protect residents from oil and gas drilling, and to conserve swaths of land across the world.
The Nature Conservancy’s purchase of the 8,000-acre tract cost more than $18 million in total; the nonprofit used $3 million of internal funding, $10 million from an undisclosed source, and the $5.2 million gift from the Holdfast Collective. Over the past 30 years, TNC has worked to protect nearly 100,000 acres of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta area, which stretches more than 200,000 acres total.
“Alabama is important. The Holdfast Collective sees Alabama, and the Land Between the Rivers, as a landscape that is as critical to protect as our other priority areas around the globe,” Holdfast Collective executive director Greg Curtis said in a statement. “This project is the first step in a long-term strategy with our partners in Alabama to protect America’s Amazon.”
Source: Fast Company